Visitors to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum on 24-26 August can get free entry if they wear vintage Laura Ashley designs from the 1960s and 1970s.
The promotional event covers the final weekend of the Fashion Museum’s prestigious summer exhibition “Laura Ashley: The Romantic Heroine” – which is the first major retrospective celebration to be staged in honour of the famous designer.
More than 13,750 visitors have bustled through the doors to enjoy the special showcase of 100 Laura Ashley dresses since the exhibition opened on 13 July.
Fans of the Laura Ashley look have also flocked to the Fashion Museum’s website to share their treasured photographs and memories – including wedding dresses, homemade outfits and a patchwork cot quilt.
Rosemary Harden, the Manager of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum, said: “This has been one of our most successful summer exhibitions to date. It’s really captured people’s imaginations and brought everyone together for a nostalgic look back at some happy times.
“Our exhibition celebrates the vision of the romantic heroine that Laura Ashley gave to fashion in the late 1960s and 1970s. A classic example was the chaste cotton print maxi-dress in earth-hewn natural colours – whisking us away with the notion of life in a golden age; a pastoral idyll far from the mad city life. We’d love to see as many people as possible join us in their vintage Laura Ashley for one last flight of fancy on the final weekend of the show!
The exhibition has been developed in partnership with Laura Ashley Ltd and The Bowes Museum in County Durham (where it will stage its only other UK showing after the Fashion Museum).
Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath became home to one of the first Laura Ashley stores in July 1971, so we’re proud that the city now houses one of the world’s great museum collections of historic and fashionable dress – including a fine selection of signature Laura Ashley dresses. I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet been to the Fashion Museum to discover what we have to offer.
“If you’re a Bath & North East Somerset Council resident you don’t even need to dress up in Laura Ashley to get free admission on 24-26 August – just pick up a Resident’s Discovery Card and you can enjoy free entry to the Fashion Museum and the Roman Baths all year round.”
To complement the exhibition, the Fashion Museum has produced a 48-page colour paperback book; featuring photographs from the show and tales from fans of the Laura Ashley look. The book is for sale in the Museum’s shop and costs £5.99.
The Fashion Museum is open daily from 10.30am to 4pm (exit 5pm). It also features the Dress of the Year and the museum’s 50th anniversary exhibition “50 Fabulous Frocks”. For more information visit www.fashionmuseum.co.uk or call 01225 477789.